WASHINGTON (CN) – The National Marine Fisheries Service has designated 138 square miles of critical habitat along the coast of California and its offshore islands for the endangered black abalone.
The Endangered Species Act designation includes rocky areas from the high tide mark to the low tide mark within five segments of the California coast between the Del Mar Landing Ecological Reserve to the Palos Verdes Peninsula, as well as on the Farallon Islands, Ano Nuevo Island, San Miguel Island, Santa Rosa Island, Santa Cruz Island, Anacapa Island, Santa Barbara Island, and Santa Catalina Island.
This designation includes rocky intertidal and subtidal habitats from the mean higher high water line to a depth of -19.6848 ft. (relative to the mean lower low water line), and the coastal marine waters encompassed by these areas.
The area from Corona Del Mar State Beach to Dana Point, Calif., are not designated, because the agency has determined that the economic benefits of exclusion from the critical habitat designation outweigh the benefits of inclusion and that exclusion of this specific area will not result in the extinction of the species.
The agency also has determined that two areas proposed for designation, San Nicolas Island and San Clemente Island, are not eligible for designation, because the U.S. Navy’s revised integrated natural resource management plans for these areas provide benefits to black abalone.